Obama Sets August 2010 as Iraq End Date

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President Obama wants to pull most U.S. troops out of Iraq by August of 2010.

He plans to leave up to 50,000 troops in the country until 2011.  They will be there under a new mission of training, civilian protection and counter-terrorism.

Some members of Congress don't like the plan. Democrats want a pull-out of all forces. Republicans are concerned 2010 may be too early to pull out and that security gains would be sacrificed.

Click play for CBN News reporter Efrem Graham's coverage of this story.   Also, click here to watch President Obama's entire speech to troops Friday.

One Soldier's Short Return Home

Corporal Terry Winkler of the Texas National Guard unlocked a special moment for his daughter Cheyenne, returning home to North Texas from Iraq and surprising her at school.

The faculty of Brockett Elementary in Aubrey had arranged for a welcoming ceremony for Winkler, but they didn't tell his daughter that he was coming.

Cheyenne was pleasantly surprised when her father came walking through the door of her classroom, and her joy quickly turned to tears.

"I really really missed him," she said.

Cheyenne's teacher says the girl has had a difficult time with her father's deployment to the Middle East, often crying in class. Corporal Winkler says he always keeps pictures of his family with him, even when engaging the enemy.

The tearful, but temporary reunion of two weeks comes just in time for the president's message message on the future for Cheyenne's dad and thousands of soldiers serving in Iraq.

100,000 U.S. Combat Troops to Leave Iraq

Senior administration officials say roughly 100,000 U.S combat troops will leave Iraq by the end of August next year. It's a slower timetable than President Barack Obama promised voters, but still quicker than planned.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was asked by reporters about the timetable.

"The thinking all along had been that any force left after we stopped combat operations would be focused on the counterterrorism mission, on training, advising, assistance and that sort of thing," he explained. "So it's a very different mission than we have now.

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